Abortion Doulas: Like Birth Doulas, Only Completely Different

abortion doulasA revealing article appeared last week in the New York Observer about one of the more bizarre elements within the world of abortion: namely, abortion doulas.

The author, Rachel White, opens the article with a description of a training session for volunteer abortion doulas given by the Doula Project‘s Lauren Mitchell and Mary Mahoney at an unnamed Manhattan hospital — in which the first 6 of the 40 hours of classroom instruction are devoted to astrology.

Yes, astrology. Oh, and this training session is being held at 9:00 on a Sunday morning.

That in itself tells us quite a lot. After all, it’s quite true that supernature abhors a vacuum.

White then states:

An abortion doula is a new concept, pioneered by the Doula Project, of which Ms. Mitchell is a cofounder. In essence, it’s the same as a birth doula—in fact, most practitioners do both—except that she provides support to women getting abortions who’ve chosen not to take their pregnancies to term, offering counseling, back rubs and reassurance.

Read that second sentence again: “In essence, it’s the same as a birth doula…” Elsewhere, the article quotes the Doula Project’s website, which states that it exists to “support people across the spectrum of pregnancy.”


A better way to say it might be: Being an abortion doula is like being a birth doula—only completely different.

Later, the article discusses a small-group session that was included as part of the would-be abortion doulas’ training:

In training, the instructors explain that many women seeking abortions are nonetheless not politically pro-choice. She handed out flash cards with real-life situations. The first read: “A woman tells you, ‘I just killed my baby.’ How do you respond?” The students broke into groups to discuss the question. Many came up with a similar answer: Explain that the procedure is legal because the fetus is not a baby, it just has the potential to be one.

That’s interesting, because later in the article, White mentions that one of the inspirations for the abortion doula “movement,” if you will, was the Jane Collective, which performed over 11,000 illegal abortions in Chicago in the 1960s. One of Jane’s most prominent members, Judith Arcana, has stated publicly:

I performed abortions, I have had an abortion and I am in favor of women having abortions when we choose to do so. But we should never disregard the fact that being pregnant means there is a baby growing inside of a woman, a baby whose life is ended. We ought not to pretend this is not happening.we should never disregard the fact that being pregnant means there is a baby growing inside of a woman, a baby whose life is ended. We ought not to pretend this is not happening.

Incidentally, Arcana is by no means the only advocate of legal abortion who is intellectually honest enough to admit as much.

That said, Mitchell and Mahoney have no problem, unlike many of their pro-choice compatriots, acknowledging that graphic abortion pictures are, in fact, real:

In an interview with The Observer, [Mitchell] joked that she sometimes wants to automatically reject the abortion doula applications of pro-choice activists, because it’s so hard to go from pro-choice rhetoric to supporting real people who don’t necessarily find their abortions empowering.“Those pictures pro-life activists flash are real,” Ms. Mahoney said. “That is what a fetus looks like when its head is crushed. When you see the procedure, you must decide, as a pro-choice person, whether you are in or out.” She’s thought about it a lot. “I have never been more in,” she said.

I’m not sure it would be possible to come up with a better illustration of how unspeakably evil is the work of abortion doulas than those words.

Later, White mentions an unnamed “pro-choice advocate” who recommends that poor women seeking abortions commit insurance fraud:

At many public hospitals in New York, abortion is on a sliding-fee scale like any other surgery. With proof of residence and a low income, a patient can be treated for around $150, payable over time. “Find a friend in New York City, get an address and mail yourself something, go to New York the next week and get your abortion fee scaled,” one pro-choice advocate suggested.

To my mind, the eeriest part of the article described a demonstration Mitchell conducted to give abortion doula trainees an idea of what a manual vacuum aspiration abortion is like:

During the doula training Ms. Mitchell demonstrated the manual vacuum aspirator for the class. Reaching beneath the conference table, she removed several small cups green Jell-O and placed them on the table. “I remembered the green this time,” she said, to nervous titters all around. “The last group, we had red, and I think it scared some of the doulas.”

Ms. Mitchell stood up and placed the end of the device, which resembled a very large syringe, into the cup. She pulled the handle. There was a loud slurping sound as the Jell-O was sucked into the chamber and liquified.

“Does it sound like that in the room?” we asked.

“Unfortunately, yes.” …

The students then tried out the procedure for ourselves. The Observer found it fairly easy, but some students had more trouble. There were squeals when one glob of Jell-o flew across the room and landed on the table in front of us.

Without a doubt, the article is clearly sympathetic toward abortion doulas. And it’s precisely for this reason that you should read the whole thing.

The more we understand our opposition — what they believe, how they operate, and what makes them tick — the better equipped we are to refute their arguments and expose their agenda.

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